Mike Pyne is a professional musician, organist, pianist, and session artist. Now in his 50th year as a performer, Mike started playing professionally when he was just 12 years old and purchased his first Hammond B3 when he was just 14. (He still plays that same 1966 B3 at live shows today!) Mike recorded his first record at the age of 16 at Shade Tree Studios in the Playboy Club at Lake Geneva (with the sound engineer from the band Kansas) and went on to record and tour with many artists and bands.
Mike’s musical journey has covered many genres from rhythm & blues to gospel to rock – with his current band The Sociables, featuring special guests like Greg Koch. His early bands include Blue Heat, Hot Rats, and Rough Trade, followed by Benny’s Basement Band, Quo Vadis, and Names. Benny’s Basement Band wrote songs that appeared live on two radio station album projects, while Quo Vadis wrote one for a compilation album. Both Quo Vadis and Names won WAMI Awards (Wisconsin Area Music Industry Awards) for “Best New Band.” Mike would later go on to record full length album with Tokio Rose (self-titled album). Along the way, Mike had some truly unique experiences on his musical path, such as playing improvisational piano at the Grand Avenue Mall in Milwaukee, performing for Habitat for Humanity, and creating music beds for (which included using his Hammond keyboards) for a local television station.
As Mike’s reputation as a premier musician grew, his talent expanded far beyond the Midwest. The Scott Sharrard Band (Gregg Allman, Little Feat), Altered Five Blues (Cherry Valley Music Festival), and Branscombe Richmond invited Mike to appear as their special guest (along with his B3 of course!). Mike joined tour dates with Blackfoot (Detroit and the East Coast), Stryper (South Dakota), Tesla (Summerfest Music Festival). Ever the consummate keyboardist, you could always spot Mike on stage, surrounded by his Hammond and keyboards. Mike currently owns a 1956 Hammond B3 with a Leslie 122 that he uses mainly at church (at which he is currently the organist) and a 1966 Hammond B3 with a Leslie 147 that he uses at all of his live shows. Mike also does some recordings and shows where he features his Hammond XK-5.
In addition to the acts referenced above, Mike is very grateful and blessed to have had the opportunity to share the stage with the following artists and musicians: Kansas, REO Speedwagon, Marshall Tucker, Loverboy, Humble Pie, America, Gregg Allman Band, The Allman Brothers Band, Quiet Riot, The Turtles, Slave Raider, Coney Hatch, Rickey Medlocke, Tommy Greywolf (Brooks & Dunn), Bad Boy, The Outlaws, Lou Gramm, Sunblind Lion, Golden Earring, Joan Jett, the Bodeans, Hurricane Alice, George Thorogood, Molly Hatchet, Kick Axe, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Foghat, Grey Ghost, Steppenwolf, The Raspberries, Vandenberg, White Lion, Ruby Starr, Mark Anthony Fretz, and Hubert Sumlin (RIP).
Other bands to which Mike added his masterful stylings as a member, performing or recording studio work include: The Machine, Problem Child (studio work on the CD “In the Hole”), Cast a Giant Shadow (studio work on “Bus Stop”), Middle of the Road, The Blues Disciples, The Chesterfield Kings, Stokes Live (CD recorded live at the Milwaukee Symphony Ball), Rongos All Stars and the Cream City Convicts. Mike is acutely aware every day of the musical gifts he is given, including to perform and record with so many great musicians!